All About Japan's Lovable Football Player, Atsuto Uchida

Professional athletes from anywhere as far as South Korea to London have been hailed over the centuries; loved and revered by fans and other admirers. This is similar even during ancient times in Tokyo, or Edo. This has been shown even with a game as ancient as Kemari, a Japanese ball game, where participants would play a game of kicking the ball in the air making sure it wouldn’t drop. This was usually done in front of the Emperor, and it was made into a big deal back then, with Kemari players being exalted and venerated by the locals.

By DerHans04 [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Just as an ancient Kemari kicker had legions of fans, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to football. Japanese professional football players still get the same amount of praise and adoration, especially those that play for an international event, and whose names are sponsored by big brands, eventually landing them a spot in video games. One of those Japanese professional football players is Atsuto Uchida. 

Fast Facts on Atsuto Uchida

Born as Atsuto Uchida (The last name usually comes first in Japanese, so he’d be known in Japan as Uchida Atsuto, written as “内田 篤人”) on March 27, 1988 in the Japanese town of Kannami in the prefecture of Shizuoka, Uchida is most popularly known as playing the Right-back position in professional football.

He currently stands 1.76 meters tall, or 5 ft 9 inches, and plays for the Kashima Antlers club. The number on his Jersey is 2. Currently, he plays for both the Japan national football team and the Kashima Antlers. 

A Quick Run-through of Atsuto Uchida’s Career Timeline

Atsuto Uchida studied in Shimizu Higashi High School from 2003 until 2005. In 2005, he officially began his senior career by joining the National team of Japan U20, (a Japanese football team for players under 20 years old) where he made 12 league appearances, but no goals. He stayed until 2007 when he was moved to the Japan U23 club (for players under 23 years old), where he made 8 league appearances, and still no goals. Finally, he played for the Japan national football team from 2008 until 2015, making 71 league appearances, and scoring a total of 2 goals. 

By Memorino [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

He joined the Kashima Antlers (An association football club that is Japanese), making 124 appearances and scoring 3 league goals. He quit that club in 2010 and joined Schalke 04 (a German association-football club), making 104 league appearances, but only scoring 1 goal. He stayed in Schalke for 7 years starting June 2010, moving to Union Berlin in August after, where he made 2 league appearances and didn’t score any goals. In January of 2018, Atsuto Uchida moved back to the Kashima Antlers, where he is yet to make a recent league appearance or score any goal. 

Honors Received

For his exemplary performance, Uchida gained many awards and ribbon recognition, particularly for the J. League Division 1 from 2007 to 2009, the Emperor’s Cup in 2007, and the Japanese Super Cup in both 2009 and 2010. While he was with FC Schalke 04, he was recognized with the DFB-Pokal: 2010-11, and the DFL-Supercup: 2011.

For his international honors, he was recognized during the AFC Asian Cup: 2011, and as an individual, he was a part of the J. League Best 11 of both 2008 and 2009, as well as the Bundesliga Team of the Season from 2012 to 2013, and from 2013 to 2014. 

By Daniel Kraski [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Personal Trivia, Married Life, and His Wife

Beyond the world of sports, Uchida is a celebrated figure in Japan, as a Japanese version of David Beckham, or “Japanese Beckham”. This is no wonder, as late in February 2011, when his team was up against FC Nuremberg, as many as 90 Japanese women came all the way to the Veltins-Arena stadium in Germany to watch Uchida in action. At that time, Uchida was playing for Schalke 04, who would endorse its team in its native language, German – but because most of its fans were Japanese (in support for Uchida), the German football club decided to offer Japanese versions or translations of their promotions, websites, and social media accounts. 

While Uchida may have legions of fans who find him attractive, as of May 2015, he married his wife, Yuko Aoki, and have since had two children. He has recently said that he is happy with his marriage. Other than that, he has been busy with the training facility that he opened with his teammate, FC Koln’s forward, Yuya Osako. Both players hail from Shizuoka, and their training center is located near Kagoshima Central Station. 

Uchida has also had a hand in the entertainment scene. In the movie “Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction”, which is a Pokemon anime film, Uchida was the voice actor of Uschi – a character who got his name from the Japanese football star. Another fun fact about Uchida is that his favorite drink is banana juice, as he opts out of drinking all alcoholic drinks.

More Info on the Kashima Antlers

Called “Kashima Antorazu” in Japanese and written in Japanese text as “鹿島アントラーズ”, the Kashima Antlers are a professional association football club that hails from Japan. This club competes particularly in the J1 League, which is considered the Japan Professional Football League’s top division. Most of its funding comes from the company “Nippon Steel and Sumimoto Metal.”

The full name of the football club is “Kashima Antlers F.C.”, and it was founded in 1947, initially called Sumimoto Metals FC. Its ground is in Kashima Soccer Stadium, in Kashima, of Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture. Its capacity is 40,728, and its chairman is Shigeru Ibata. Its manager is Go Oiwa. The reason they’re called the “antlers’ is that the area where the club is from – Kashima – translates to “deer island”. 

For the uniform of the home players, their home colors are a bright red shirt with light gray stripes, bright red shorts, and very dark blue socks. Its away colors are white top and shorts with red accents and red socks. These are quite prestigious uniforms to wear, as this football club is said to be Japan’s most successful as of now, due to their 8 J League title wins, 6 J. League Cup wins, and 5 Emperor’s Cup wins. 

What is FIFA 18?

Giving football fans the power to control actual association football clubs in games is the entire concept of FIFA. The video game considers real-life clubs, players, and skills, and lets you play them or play against them with other characters or your own character. It’s a football simulation, and since the players change every year, the game is updated to fit the latest trends and players, programming in item additions. 

The game was developed by EA Vancouver and EA Bucharest, published by EA Sports. It falls under the FIFA series and runs on the Frostbite 3 Engine. It currently can be played across 6 platforms; on Windows, the Nintendo Switch system, PlayStation 3 and 4, the Xbox 360, and the Xbox 1. It can be played in both single-player and multiplayer mode.

The “18” beside the “FIFA” simply suggests the year that the game is updated to, “18” alluding to “2018”. However, the game for 2018 comes out in 2017 to pre-empt it. The release date of FIFA 18 was September 29, 2017. On the cover of the game was Cristiano Ronaldo, who is Real Madrid’s forward. 

Atsuto Uchida Playing of FIFA 15

As FIFA has many different years, the gameplay varies per player depending on the year. In FIFA 15, Uchida had a specific distribution of skills, and each skill card is important to study if you plan to add him to your team. In FIFA 15, Uchida’s Pace ranked at 77, with acceleration and sprint speed both at 77. His Shooting ranked at 51, averaged from his scores of 62 for positioning, 45 for finishing, 67 for shot power, 48 for long shots, 59 for volleys, and 40 for penalties.

For Passing, he scores 71, over an average of vision at 61, curve at 67, long passing at 73, free kick at 44, crossing at 77, short passing at 73. Dribbling ranks at 76, averaged from agility at 79, balance at 75, dribbling at 74, ball control at 77, and reactions at 75. His defending score is at 72, with interceptions at 71, sliding tackle at 76, standing tackle at 74, marking at 72, and heading at 59. Lastly, his physical ranking is at 60, with strength at 47, stamina at 83, aggression at 61, and jumping at 68. His total stats score is 407, according to futhead.

By Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr [CC BY 3.0 br (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Statistics of Atsuto Uchida in Sofifa

Another website that can be used to monitor the different ranks and scores of player skills is Sofifa. Uchida, under the id number 191541, is stated by Sofifa to use his right foot as his preferred foot. He has 2 stars for his international reputation, 2 stars again for his weak foot, as well as his skill moves. His work rate is high/medium, he carries a lean body type and a real face, and his release clause costs 2.3 million euros. 

There have been some changes to the statistics in FIFA 18 as his skills were in FIFA 15, but some remain the same. For example, his dribbling still sticks at 74, but his sliding tackle receded, from 76 to74. Sofifa does indicate his goalkeeping scores (as futhead does not) and they are quite low, with GK diving, handling, kicking, reflexes, and positioning all below 17, with GK Diving the lowest at 10. 

The Latest Developments on Atsuto Uchida in Transfermarkt

To keep up with the latest updates on football, you may visit a site called “Transfermarkt”, which is a German website launched in 2000, created by Matthias Seidel, but is currently under the ownership of Axel Springer – Europe’s largest digital publishing house. This website publishes anything and everything about football – every move from results, transfer news, fixtures statistics, news, player values, and scores. The website is available in 9 languages; English, Dutch, German, Italian, Polish, Turkish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian. 

In this website you can encounter updated information on Atsuto Uchida, assessing him to be part of the Kashima Antlers with a contract that ends on December 31, 2019. His transfer history is accurate, as the website offers other assessments such as comparable players. Players that are usually compared to his level of skill are David Simon, the Right-Back from LaLiga, as well as Carlos Arboleda from Liga Aguila I. 

It also lists his trophies, as he is a German cup winner, a Japanese champion, and an Asian Cup winner. Other details stated by transfermarkt is that Adidas outfits him and that his current market value 800 thousand Euros as of October 17, 2017 – a stark difference from his net worth at the peak of his career on February 4, 2015, when his market value was 9 Million Euros under FC Schalke 04.

Someone to Look Up To

Sports is something healthy to participate in for anyone of any age, at any place. Athletes set high standards and goals that kids can strive for, which is why it’s okay to look up to players who perform excellently. Watching and cheering for a player like Atsuto Uchida is a reminder to his fans that his level of excellence in sports is possible through training and hard work.